Interior Castle or The Mansions

Author: Teresa of Avila, St. (Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada, 1515-1582)

Interior Castle is the work of 16th century Carmelite nun and Christian mystic St. Teresa of Avila. She wrote Interior Castle as a spiritual guide to union with God. Her inspiration for the work came from a vision she received from God. In it, there was a crystal globe with seven mansions, with God in the innermost mansion. St. Teresa interpreted this vision as an allegory for the soul's relationship with God; each mansion represents one place on a path towards the "spiritual marriage"--i.e. union--with God in the seventh mansion. One begins on this path through prayer and meditation. She also describes the resistance that the Devil places in various rooms, to keep believers from union with God. Throughout, she provides encouragements and advice for spiritual development. Beyond its spiritual merit, Interior Castle also contains much literary merit as a piece of Spanish Renaissance literature. A spiritually challenging book, Interior Castle stands on par with other great works of this time, such as Dark Night of the Soul.

Tim Perrine
CCEL Staff Writer





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